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jhercher's picture

Evolution. Actual evolution.

Someone posted a little earlier about how strange it was shifting back to thinking about biological evolution and actual natural selection after so much time  thinking about it being applied to other things like literature and, well, everything.  But, honestly, there's nothing for reaffirming one's belief in the power and beauty of evolution than in thinking about what changes it has affected in the natural world.  Recent studies done of Bonobo apes, some of the closest relatives to humans besides maybe chimpanzees, has shown that they are capable of many thinks we consider distinctly human.  Language jumps clearly to mind.  Other species have language, birds sing, whales communicate with each other, and all sorts of animals use sounds as a method for hunting, courtship and "talking," but bonobos and other apes can even use written language, associating an image with a certain meaning.  I think we are so accustomed to thinking of ourselves as so monumentally "different" than other animals, it's always shocking when you realize we're not so different.  And it's not just the shock of other mammals doing things we consider "human."  I think in light of the recent killing of Osama, in our nation's glorying in his death and in thinking about the abominable things he was responsible for, it is important to remember than we aren't as "human" as we like to believe.


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